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Holy Spirit baptism

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

John 1:29-34
John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant!

"I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.' I have seen and testify that this is the Son of God."

I don't know how anyone understood what John was saying. He had been "preparing" the people, but now preparation was over and the Messiah was standing in front of them. This man will "baptize with the Holy Spirit." What on Earth was that?

Jesus walked into the water, and in spite of John's protests asked to be baptized by John. They were both men. Jesus was being prepared as well. In his human body Jesus was a stranger in a strange land. To "take away the sin of the world," Jesus would sacrifice himself completely. He would encounter Satan and his demons at every turn. His prayers would often last all night. He called God "Abba, Father" and he depended on him for everything.

Since Noah's days on the ark, the dove has represented God's touch. It stayed on Jesus. The Holy Spirit baptism gave him all he needed to do his work here. When God filled him up, he had everything to give.

In that way we are all like Jesus. God creates, shapes and fills the container that is me. I know myself with certainty as I am filled by God's Spirit. What I have to give is perfect and multiplies itself over and over, because it belongs to God.

Let me live this day with you, Lord, filled once again by you, giving away all that you give me.

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